WASHINGTON, BEAUFORT COUNTY -

A water heater exploded Wednesday morning, destroying a house and seriously injuring the homeowner, investigators said.

Mike Woolard was inside the home, located at 100 Pinetree Dr., near Highway 264 in Washington. Woolard was lighting his hot water heater when it exploded, causing serious burns to his arms and blisters on his face, said Beaufort County Fire Marshal Curtis Avery. It happened just after 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Woolard then ran outside the home, but left the door open, causing the fire to spread quickly, Avery said. When firefighters arrived, they saw flames shooting 20-30 feet into the air.

Avery said crews got the fire under control in 30 minutes, but the home is a total loss.

Woolard was taken to Beaufort County Medical Center to be treated for his injuries. His condition is unknown at this time; however, his family told NewsChannel 12 he is expected to be okay.

Washington Fire Department,  Clark's Neck Volunteer Fire Department, and the Old Ford Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene. One of the firefighters is the nephew-in-law of the victim.